Nightmare Canyon

Page Type
Canyon
Location:
California, United States, North America
Activities:
Hiking
Season:
Spring, Fall, Winter
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Nightmare Canyon
Created On: Jan 12, 2018
Last Edited On: Feb 6, 2018

Overview


Nightmare Canyon is actually a scenic canyon in California’s Red Rock Canyon State Park. I hiked up the main branch of the canyon to near its upper limits where I left the canyon and went up the slopes to reach the summit of Peak 3425 ft (see attached page). I then descended into a side branch of the canyon before returning to the main branch to create a lollipop loop (see map). The path that I followed did not involve any technical difficulties. Other hiking variations are of course possible.

Make sure you read Red Tape at the bottom of this page.

Getting There

From the junctions of Route 14 and 395 near Ridgecrest, California, drive about 26 miles south on Route 14 going past Ricardo Campground on the right (west). Look for the large parking area at Red Cliffs Natural Area on the left (east).

The Canyon

The hike as described here is 9.5 miles long.

Red Cliffs from the parking area.

Walls near parking area
Walls near parking area


From the parking area, I headed north/northeast on a trail.

Nightmare Canyon
Nightmare Canyon


The trail reached a dirt road form the left. I followed the road for a while until after about 1.3 miles I reached a fence that closed the path to motorized vehicles. I then continued north at the bottom of a dry wash. The canyon was wide open at first.

Nightmare Canyon
Nightmare Canyon
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Nightmare Canyon
Nightmare Canyon
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Nightmare Canyon
Nightmare Canyon


It then became tight.

Nightmare Canyon
Nightmare Canyon
Nightmare Canyon
Nightmare Canyon
Nightmare Canyon
Nightmare Canyon


After 2.5 miles, I reached the split in my path in the canyon as shown on the map.

Nightmare Canyon
Nightmare Canyon


Continuing left up the canyon (left path).

Nightmare Canyon
Nightmare Canyon
Nightmare Canyon
Nightmare Canyon


The canyon then opened up again. At that point, I exited the canyon and began to go up the slopes to reach the summit of Peak 3425 ft (see attached page).

Nightmare Canyon


A few pictures from the right branch of the canyon (after the split in my path as shown on the map).

Nightmare Canyon
Nightmare Canyon
Nightmare Canyon
Nightmare Canyon
Nightmare Canyon
Nightmare Canyon

Nightmare Canyon


Upper parts of the canyon, on the slopes of Peak 3425 ft became more open.

Nightmare Canyon
Nightmare Canyon

Nightmare Canyon


Red Tape

Parts of the canyon are reserved as Birds of Prey Nesting Sites. No entry is allowed February 1 to July 1. Otherwise no fees or permits needed.

When to Hike

Winter is the best time to hike (see above Red Tape). Summer can get dangerously hot.






Nightmare Canyon

Canyon
33 Images 1 Climber's Log Entries 2 Comments 0 Additions & Corrections

Geography

MyTopo Map Nearby Canyons Interactive Map Canyons in California

Parents

Peak 3425 ftCanyons
 
Red Rock Canyon CaliforniaCanyons